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Perry Township Early History
In 1830, Logan County officials created Perry Township by cutting off the northern part of Zane Township. Named after Oliver Hazzard Perry, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, Perry Township is known for its supply of pure water. A number of artesian wells provided an easily accessible water supply for the area’s settlers. The abundance of maple trees gave rise to many sugar camps. Maple syrup quickly became one of the first industries in the area.
White settlers first came to the area as early as 1805. John Garwood and his five sons settled in the lands that would eventually become Perry Township in 1810. Garwood built the first mill in present-day Perry Township on Otter Creek. The Quakers founded the first church in Perry Township and were soon followed by Methodist, Union Baptist and the United Brethren churches.
Two villages have been established in Perry Township over the years North Greenfield and East Liberty. Also known over the years as Garwood Mills, East Liberty was laid out in 1834 by John Bower. Shortly after East Liberty was platted John Garwood moved his mill to the new village and other businesses followed. By 1875, East Liberty consisted of forty-four dwellings, three dry-goods stores, three shoemakers, three blacksmiths, a drugstore, a grocery, a tile factory, a hotel, a gristmill, a silversmith and even an art gallery.
In 1882, Alonzo Skidmore started the Central Ohio College in East Liberty. He matched the $1,500 donation from the town to get the school started. The school offered science classes in physics, botany and geology, as well as literature courses, business and commercial classes, music, art and a normal school for teachers. Tuition was initially $10 for twelve weeks. By the early 1890’s the school enrollment began declining and the college was shut down in 1894. The village purchased the building and opened a three-year high school for a few years.
Ernest H. Harding attended the Central Ohio College and then taught math there to earn his tuition. In 1913, Harding bought the building for $600 at auction and opened the Harding Machine Screw Co. The business was housed there until a new factory was built in 1966.
The second village in Perry Township was established in 1847 when Logan County surveyor S.A. Harbinson laid out the village of North Greenfield, or Mudsock. The town got the nickname Mudsock because of the immense amount of mud around the town in the winter and spring. In 1913, the North Greenfield School was built.
In the early 1900’s oil was found near North Greenfield and led to the establishment of the Mudsock Oil Co. The oil company lasted several years although no large deposits of oil were found.
In 1904, post office service in North Greenfield was discontinued. The North Greenfield School consolidated with the East Liberty School in 1928 and was torn down in 1935. The bricks were used to construct the gymnasium at the East Liberty School.
East Liberty has seen its share of industry over the years. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the establishment of a carpet stretching company and a razor manufacturer in East Liberty. The latter part of the 20th century saw several major companies make the area home, with Harding Machine Co., C & F Fabrications, the Transportation Research Center, Honda of America, and Reliant Mechanical.
Main St. East Liberty early 1900's
Foundry St. East Liberty early 1900's
Central Ohio College 1882 - 1894
Methodist Church and parsonage, East Liberty
Information provided by the Logan County History Center. Please visit the Logan County History Center to learn more interesting aspects of Logan County history.